asia

Digital money transfer network Azimo has closed a $15m funding round, led by Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, to aid its expansion across Asia.

Founded in 2012, Azimo was created in an attempt to fix the broken and often expensive money transfer industry.

The company, which raised $20m in June last year, is already present in Asia: in the Philippines and Thailand.

Commenting on the raise, Michael Kent, CEO and founder of Azimo said: “Rakuten’s investment is fantastic news for both our customers and the Azimo team. Our focus has always been to transform the way people send money around the world, and we’ve been lucky enough to receive lots of offers of funding on our journey.”

He continued: “While we weren’t actively looking for additional capital, the approach from Rakuten really appealed because of their presence in markets core to our long-term ambitions. They have a huge presence in Asia, they really understand consumer financial services and as owners of Viber, and are a significant player in the social messaging market. The partnership will accelerate our Asian expansion and assist in our aim of developing ever deeper social network integrations.”

Currently, Azimo says it provides services across more than 190 countries and in over 80 different currencies.

Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, managing partner at the Rakuten FinTech Fund, said: “Azimo has cemented itself as the European specialist in digital remittances and its global network is unrivalled in the industry. This is a testament to an outstanding team, led by Michael and Marta, who saw an opportunity four years ago to disrupt the $600 billion remittance industry.

“Rakuten prides itself on being a catalyst for digital innovation. In Azimo we see a scalable business model, technical expertise, and a strong social mission we believe will make them even more successful in the future,” he concluded.

The funding round also drew support from existing investors eVentures, Frog Capital, Greycroft, Accion and MCI.

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